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Jump in consumer spending could mean more purchases among local retailers

Even though consumer sentiment has declined to some degree, June's spending numbers came in strong. This highlights the need for businesses across the nation to invest in the latest money counters that will help them more effectively manage a growing number of transactions and streamline backroom processes.

More purchases could be coming
A preliminary reading of the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters consumer sentiment index shows shopper confidence may be dropping slightly. The index dropped from 84.1 to 83.9 in the reading, even though economists polled by Marketwatch had anticipated the number would hold steady.

However, shoppers don't appear to be paying much heed to these numbers, as a new report revealed spending has continued to climb in recent weeks. The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index, which tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future spending, jumped somewhat in June. The increase, which took the index from 4.2 to 4.3, takes into consideration tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices. Even though the index found that the tax burden has climbed in the past year and real wages have remained flat at $8.81 hourly, the 7 percent drop in unemployment from May 2012 to May 13 could have contributed to the spike seen.

"Strengthening housing and job markets can have a profound impact on consumers' ability and willingness to spend," said Daniel Bachman, Deloitte's senior U.S. economist. "Improvement has been slow but steady month to month, and both housing and employment have regained their footing since last year. Consumers appear to have adjusted to the effects of higher tax rates and the sequester, which has also helped sustain household spending."

How merchants will deal with increased spending
As more people are willing to spend and continue to make additional purchases, retailers will need to respond appropriately. While staffing more employees may help businesses as they attempt to serve more customers, it won't necessarily help them manage transactions any more quickly. By obtaining the right cash counter, however, companies will be better able to count daily profits, determine what needs to go to the bank and what funds need to be kept in register drawers for change. Fast and accurate transaction management is a must for merchants experiencing a surge in business, especially if they find manual counting time-consuming and unreliable.

July 30, 2013